UC Berkeley College of Engineering faculty recommends changing pass/no pass policy

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The college's website emphasizes that the pass/no pass option is provided as a safety net for unexpected events and encourages students to take a course load that can be 'realistically handled' in light of the difficulties with remote learning.

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UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering announced Saturday that its faculty is recommending the college’s pass/no pass, or P/NP, policy be altered for the academic year.

The College of Engineering, or COE, expects that over the course of the academic year its undergraduates will be able to take two courses P/NP that fulfill reading and composition or technical requirements. Students would be able to take both P/NP courses in the fall 2020 semester, both in the spring 2021 semester or one in each, according to COE’s website.

These recommended changes must be approved by the campus Academic Senate, because unlike other colleges on campus, COE does not set its grading policies for undergraduate degrees. The Academic Senate will vote on the faculty recommendations Nov. 30, the COE website adds.

Students in the college can change their class grading options through Dec. 3, according to the website.

The college’s website emphasizes that the P/NP option is provided as a safety net for unexpected events and encourages students to take a course load that can be “realistically handled” in light of the difficulties with remote learning and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Human lives depend on the work of engineering teams,” the website states. “We encourage students to achieve mastery. It is better to learn a few things very well instead of many things poorly.”

Maya Akkaraju is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @maya_akkaraju.